Gordon Magnin’s artwork offers a new perspective of a very familiar subject matter in an extremely refreshing way; the artist uses predominantly, but not exclusively, found female fashion images. This is especially daring because our media culture is so saturated with these images to begin with, that it would seem difficult to come up with a new understanding of it, but Magnin pulls it off. He imposes geometric systems (normally triangles or squares) on the high fashion faces, either by cutting them out of the images and replacing them on a new angle, or simply by removing the shapes completely. It is no surprise that the artist’s educational background is in engineering and architecture, which explains his adept use of geometric structure. On his website, Magnin offers .gif formatted images which demonstrate the process by which he reaches his final product. This way, the viewer is allowed to view a selection of the artists thought process, adding another layer of depth to the work. Magnin’s images also frequently have the ability to stare back at their viewer. In untitled (smear) the artist overlaps two female faces. The one beneath looks upwards, wearing an expression of shock as she smears bright red lipstick down the corner of her mouth and chin. The first face is barely obscured by the slick and minimalist one on top, which Magnin has treated by cutting out a system of triangles, revealing the face below. He leaves only the necessary information for face on top, a mouth lightly upturned at the corner, an eyebrow that appears slightly raised, and penetrating eyes.
Gordon Magnin was born in Reno, Nevada, USA and lives and works in Southern California. He has exhibited in Southern California, Reno, and New York City. In 2009, he attended a Canada Council for the Arts-sponsored artist residency at L’Écart, Lieu d’Art Actuel in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, Canada.